The Matrix Mission

 

This is a matrix in the original sense of "source", "matrix" deriving from "mater", Latin for "mother" (and so our motto just had  to be "We're real mothers for ya!"...inspired of course by Johnny "Guitar" Watson, for anybody unaware of the provenance).

 

The matrix is an outgrowth of our record shop, Cana Brava Records, in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. The mission behind the shop  was to provide an outlet for impossible to otherwise find music from across the bay here (the Baía de Todos os Santos...Bay of All Saints) and beyond.

 

It's ironic that this music is so unknown. The music of the Recôncavo (heh-KAWN-cah-vo) is analogous in Brazil to the delta blues in the United States in that it's at the root of almost all Brazilian music. This is the music of a region into which were shipped more enslaved human beings than any other such port-of-call anywhere in the world throughout all human history. The music is powerfully moving, both physically and spiritually...uplifting as would befit the needs of the people who created it.

 

Then there is the great samba from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's "Chicago" to "the Mississippi Delta" of the Recôncavo ("recôncavo" being the Portuguese-language word for a concave-shaped area around an inlet of water or a bay...THE Recôncavo being the recôncavo around Bahia's great bay) ... and even this  samba is hard to find!

 

But the problem with a shop is that people need to come to you ! And a lot of people aren't going to make their way to a South American port city surging in the torpor. So the problem-at-hand is how to make these wonderful artists, some of them completely unknown, available to the world-at-large without a major-media-sized publicity budget.

 

My solution is a matrix based in the small-world phenomenon. It seems odd to me that this hasn't been done before. It's like taking old Myspace Music and rather than having "friends", allowing artists to recommend other artists...to generate a curation list. And I say "artists" rather than "musicians" because this system lends itself to all the arts.

 

Now, given human behavior and the "behavior" of graphs in general, the nodes representing the unknown musicians of the Bahian Recôncavo and sertão (backlands) will tend to be a small number of steps away from most everybody else in such a matrix. Meaning that whereas before there was no chance that anybody  would find them (aside from wandering into Cana Brava Records), now it's possible for almost anybody  to find them! Their findability depends on several factors, but one of the most important of these is the demographics behind "entrance" nodes. The more there are, the better. Whether they be artists with huge fan-bases (Quincy Jones), or middling or small and select...the fact that they are there means that the ball, so to speak, can be set rolling through a curation-guided pinball machine.

 

Who curates? This is indicated on each page, beneath the outgoing curations. Musicians from Bahia, Brazil tend to be the curators. Otherwise it tends to be me (my node is here).

 

Irrespective of who is currently curating, the matrix fulfills its small-world function. But when artists curate, another (prime & wonderful) factor comes in to play:

 

We get to see and avail ourselves of the knowledge, proclivities and wisdom behind their recommendations. Artists will know their own fields as outsiders can't. Who better then to curate?

 

And they can recommend outside of their fields. We can see what novelists, filmmakers, painters, etc. etc. etc. people they admire, admire. And be taken directly to a node acting as a portal into their creative worlds.

 

And then we can see who the people they  admire, admire...

 

By all this anybody  is potentially discoverable! By anybody, anywhere on the planet! The possibilities are infinite. Even for villagers of the Recôncavo and sertão.